It’s Sunday afternoon, it’s raining hard in San Francisco and the Giants-Braves game is officially in a rain delay.
Like anyone couldn’t see that coming. Anyone, except Bruce Bochy.
Bobby Cox saw it coming. That’s why he took his No. 1 pitcher, Derek Lowe, and moved him up to pitch on Saturday. Kenshin Kawakami was slated to pitch Saturday, but with Sunday’s rainy forecast, Cox thought it better to throw Lowe on Saturday and keep him on the every-five-day schedule. The theory is it’s better to keep your No. 1 starter on schedule and let your No. 5 guy deal with the headaches of rain delays or postponements.
Maybe that’s why Bobby Cox is going to the Hall of Fame as a manager one day. Maybe that’s why Bruce Bochy won’t.
Faced with the same situation, Bochy pitched Wellemeyer on Saturday night, and now Lincecum is the battling the rain. If today’s game is rained out, Lincecum will go Monday against the Pirates, on six days rest.
Would it not have been better to pitch Lincecum on Saturday, and let Wellemeyer deal with the rain? If Sunday’s game were rained out, then you skip Wellemeyer and have him available in the pen and keep the rest of your rotation on schedule.
Water on the brain, part II .. with a catch
There’s another twist with this Lincecum-Wellemeyer-rain weather issue. It involves catcher Bengie Molina.
Molina sat out Saturday’s game against the Braves. Bochy said he’s was fine health-wise, but wanted to rest his catcher after playing 10 innings on Friday. Also, he wanted Molina to catch Lincecum on Sunday and didn’t want Molina to catch Saturday night and then again Sunday afternoon.
All sound logic, if you were paying no mind to the weather forecast!!!!
Given Sunday’s forecast, it would have been better to pitch Lincecum Saturday and catch Molina Saturday. Then Bochy could have sit Molina Sunday and start Whiteside, if the game is played. If the game gets rained out, Molina still gets his day off and the Giants don’t miss his bat in the lineup.
Yes, Molina played 10 innings Friday, but he had Thursday off with the travel day and he didn’t play Wednesday. So we think he could have handled it.
As it was, the Giants definitely missed his bat on Saturday. Whiteside appears lost at the plate. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts Saturday and stranded seven runners on base.
The Braves seemed to see this right away, and it looked as if Lowe was pitching around Juan Uribe to get to Whiteside. Need evidence? How about the three walks Uribe had on Saturday. Normally, it takes Uribe two months to amass three walks. The Braves gave him three in one night!
Oh, Buster Posey???
Whiteside’s struggles, not only at the plate but behind it (the Giants had four wild pitches Saturday with Whiteside catching), it might make Giant fans wonder what Buster Posey is up to down at Fresno.
Well, in his first three games at Fresno, Buster Posey is 7 for 13 and he’s reached safely 10 times. He had a single and triple on Saturday night.
The decision to send Posey to Triple-A was based on the principle that the Giants wanted him to catch every day, instead of getting three starts a week with the Giants.
But if the Giants plan on resting Molina more this season than last season, sending him out to start only two of every three games, can the Giants afford to create another hole in the lineup by starting Whiteside?
More news from Fresno
It may be time to starting worrying about Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants heralded pitching prospect got lit up in his Triple-A debut Friday against the Reno Aces.
Bumgarner gave up four runs on a career-high 11 hits and two walks in just three innings of work. Bumgarner topped out at 88 mph on the stadium radar gun.
Fred Lewis, on a rehab assignment with the Grizzlies, started in center field for Fresno on Saturday.
Fred Lewis? In center field?
More Splash Hits is trying to envision that.
Hmmmmm. Nope! Too scary! Can’t do it.